Tag Archives: motherhood

Blow Wind, Blow

#FWF Free Write Friday: Image Prompt

Posted on May 24, 2013 by ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Image Credit: Tumblr

Her eyes furtively stole a glance at him, sitting rigidly upright with both hands on the steering wheel. His firm young jaw line was tightly clenched, while his Adam’s apple bobbed up and down as he swallowed, trying to rid himself of the lump in his throat that signified how close he was to tears. She quickly returned her gaze to the passing fields, fighting just as hard as he fought, not to cry. Continue reading Blow Wind, Blow

Unconditional Love

Previously, I shared with you how excited my five grandchildren were when they saw the picture of their long-awaited baby brother, and how the Lord had spoken to my heart, showing me that this is how He longs for us to worship Him. I can’t even begin to describe to you how blessed and excited I was as the Lord revealed that to me! For those of you who didn’t see the post on True Worshipers, please check it out.

As excited as I was about that post, I’m even more excited to share with you today. Previously, I shared with you how excited my five grandchildren were when they saw the picture of their newborn baby brother, but that was NOTHING in comparison to their response when their Mommy and Daddy brought their baby brother home. I have never witnessed such screaming and shouting and jubilation as when their parents entered the house with their baby brother. There were ooh’s and ah’s and “He’s so cute!” and “I love him!” I am so thankful that the Lord allowed me to witness my youngest grandchild’s homecoming, because it was the most beautiful experience I’ve ever had! Continue reading Unconditional Love

True Worshipers

Today, while I was thinking about the joy that I experienced this weekend, as my husband and I cared for five of our grandchildren, while their Mommy and Daddy were in the hospital giving birth to their baby brother, Holy Spirit began to show me examples of what He desires when we approach Him and worship Him, and I want to share those examples with you…

23 “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship Him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

~ John 4:23-24 — NLT ~

Saturday, as soon as I received a picture of my newly born grandson, Ian, I called his five siblings to come and look at his image on my cell phone. You should have seen them as they came running to me, squealing in delight, loud, raucous, unfettered and unrestrained joy emanating from each child, as they laid eyes on their baby brother for the first time. “Aw, he’s so cute!” one shouted, “I wub him,” another shouted, wanting her voice to be heard. “I can’t wait to touch him,” my oldest grandson said so sweetly, “’cause him’s skin is so soft.” Continue reading True Worshipers

Every Good Gift and Every Perfect Gift is From Above…

17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

~ James 1:17 — NKJV ~

Hallelujah – I have much to thank the Lord for… He has given me life — not just for yesterday and today, even though if that was all He gave me, it would be enough… He has given me life for tomorrow, and for every tomorrow hereafter, into eternity, just because He loves me and chose me, and because I believe in Him.

Ian Nathaniel Showers 2a Continue reading Every Good Gift and Every Perfect Gift is From Above…

Update on My Mother

Greetings My Beloved Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,

I would like to thank each one of you for praying for my mother and my family. I know God heard our prayers, and on Friday night, February 15, at approximately 11:00pm, my mother went home to be with the Lord. I praise God, because He took her gently, as my sister, me and our husbands sat beside her praying, for her and talking to her.

I’ve always loved my mother, but now, in her absence, I’m coming to realize just how precious she was to me. Please continue to pray for my sister and I, as we adjust to life without our mother. I truly appreciate your prayers, and I hold fast to the hope that one day, when I step over into glory, I will again see my mom’s sweet face. I look forward to that day, when I will see her in no more pain, with no more sorrows and no more fear.

May the Lord bless each and every one of you for your continued prayers!

In Christ’s Love,
Cheryl

Updated Update on Mom – 1/31/2012

Image Credit: http://images.sodahead.com/polls/000495795
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My Beloved Readers, Followers, Friends, Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

My mother suffered a mild heart attack last night. Please continue to pray for Mom, my sister, and me. Mom is really having a difficult time, with the dementia, loss of independence, and failing health. She must be so scared. It breaks my heart, because I love her so much, and I hate to see her suffering.

My sister also needs your prayers and love. She is carrying a lot on her plate, between caring for Mom, as her POA, and work, and her family. Please pray that she feels the Lord’s love, strength and comfort during this difficult time.

Image Credit: http://lessonsinashell.blogspot.com/2011/04/prayers-and-praises_27.html

Please also continue to pray for me… I love both my sister and my mom very much, and want to be there for them and help them as much as possible, but pain is hindering me. Please pray for the Lord’s strength so I can be there with them and help them both.

I’m going to try to rest some now – much love to you all. I am so thankful to be a part of this great family of believers, who continue to edify and pray for me though we have never seen one another face to face. Much love to you all!

God bless you,
Cheryl

Update on Mom – 1/31/2013

My beloved friends and brothers and sisters in Christ,

Thank you for the prayers that you are lifting for my mother. We didn’t have a good day today. It started off pretty good, but it soon took a turn for the worst.

Mom became very angry and frustrated, and I became frustrated and hurt too, because she wouldn’t let me help her. She said some hateful things, and I let it get to me… In hindsight, I now know that she was starting to feel worse, and she was getting frustrated, because she wasn’t able to do the things that we all take for granted, like feeding herself and caring for her own personal needs. She was feeling weak and probably frightened, which caused her to snap at those closest to her… my sister this morning, and me this afternoon.

Because of our past history, I took it personally, and missed what was really going on. Tonight, at around 9:30, she went into acute distress, having difficulty breathing. She had to have another breathing treatment, and more tests and meds.

Please continue to pray for Mom, my sister, and me. Pray that the Lord gives me wisdom to recognize what is really going on, so that I don’t take things so personally, when she says hurtful things. I love her, and I know she loves my sister and me too. This dementia can be both a blessing and a curse.

Thank you so much for your continued prayers… I know that the fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much, and if two or more will touch and agree, according to God’s will, it will be done.

Much love to you all,
Cheryl

Update on Mom

My beloved readers, followers and friends,

Image Credit: http://i703.photobucket.com/albums/ww32/
Ladybee2009/Thank%20You/
ThankYouforPrayingforMe.jpg

It’s about 1:15am on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, and I am getting ready for bed, but I just wanted to give you a quick update on my mom. Her fever is down, praise God! However, she still has some “crackling” in her lungs, and she is coughing now. My sister and I are praying and believing that the coughing is a good thing, because it is breaking up the fluid in her lungs. 

Please continue to pray for her. She asked me if Dad came to see her last night, and I said no, and then, later today, she asked my sister why Dad hasn’t been to see her. My sister didn’t want her to think that Dad didn’t care for her, so she reminded mom (who has dementia) that Dad had passed away.

Please pray for my sister too, because I know that was hard for her to do, and she really misses Dad (who died more than a year ago) too. I love her. She is a good, strong woman, who has been a good daughter to Mom and Dad, taking care of them on her own, when I couldn’t be there for them. I pray that the Lord will let me be a blessing to both my sister and my mother.

At any rate, this has been a difficult day for Mom. Dementia can sometimes be both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing, because Mom is able to forget her grief a lot of the time, but it’s also a curse, because whenever she is reminded of Dad’s passing, it’s as though she begins to grieve all over, and for her, it’s like it just happened.

I need to go to bed now, but thank you for praying, and please don’t stop. We all need your prayers.

I pray that the Lord continues to bless each one of you, my beloved brothers and sisters, for sacrificing your time to pray for my family…

One final thing – although I hadn’t planned to write anything today, the Lord gave me a strong word, which I posted a few minutes ago. Please pray for the word that He released through me tonight, that it will touch the hearts of each one who reads it, and accomplish all that He has sent it to accomplish.

Much love to you all,
Cheryl

Justice for Shimera

When I saw the following troubling video, I was heartbroken… heartbroken for the many women whose lives have been destroyed by abortion…

I was heartbroken for the millions of unborn babies who will…

  • Never see their mother’s face…
  • Never hear their mother’s voice singing a lullaby to them…
  • Never feel the warmth of their mother’s arms around them…
  • Never press their lips to their mother’s breast to draw nourishment and comfort from her…
  • Never feel the warmth of their mother’s breath, as she bends down to kiss them and whisper, “I love you” to them…

After watching this video, my heart was filled with overwhelming compassion for one of the women in particular… Although this young woman had changed her mind about aborting her baby, she had been forced to undergo the abortion anyway, and I was inspired to write a parable loosely based on this incident… Even though this parable is loosely based on the incidents that occurred in the preceding video, the characters are not based on any one person but on humankind in general… The message that flows from the story below is the immeasurable value and sanctity of every human life
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From a distance, as though they were coming through a black tunnel, she heard voices talking about someone. “She seems to be coming to,” the voice of a female spoke. Although she couldn’t see her through the blackness, she could tell by the sound of her voice that she was a white woman.

“Don’t worry about it,” said an educated male voice. This voice sounded as though it came from a black man. Both voices sounded familiar to her, as though she knew the people who spoke, but her mind was so fuzzy, that she just couldn’t remember where she had heard them before.

Her mind was so… so… cloudy and murky… She felt so nauseated… so dizzy… There was a dreadful ringing in her ears, and the voices whirred around her, becoming louder and louder… “I think I’m going to throw up,” she spoke… or did she speak? Maybe she just imagined she was speaking.

And then she heard another sound coming through the long dark tunnel. It was the thin reedy sound of a newborn baby crying… she fought with all her might to open her eyes, because it suddenly dawned on her that the baby she was hearing was her baby. Tears began to slide down her cheeks, but her arms were tied down, and she couldn’t move to wipe them. Through lips that were dry and chapped, she struggled to speak. “My baby,” she croaked, as she fought to rise to the surface of the shroud of darkness and open her eyes.

Suddenly, as she battled with her heavy eyelids and the nausea, she heard a terrible snapping sound, like the sound of breaking bones, and as her eyes finally opened, she saw her newborn infant, a little girl, twitching spasmodically, as her cries immediately ceased. She watched in horror, as the doctor uncaringly tossed the infant into a trash can, and then unconsciousness once again mercifully engulfed her.

She awakened again, in the same dirty bed, with blood splattered on her sheets and the floor. She was alone in the room except for an office worker, who smiled when she opened her eyes. “Oh good,” she said exuberantly, “you’re awake now. I was beginning to worry.”

“My baby,” the woman moaned painfully. “Where is she? I want to see my baby.”

“Your baby?” the other woman queried. “You had an abortion, don’t you remember?”

“No,” the patient moaned, shaking her head from side to side. “I told you I changed my mind. I said I didn’t want an abortion. You know I did. I told you and I told that doctor that I want to keep my baby.”

“I’m sorry, Sweetie,” the middle-aged office worker calmly replied, “You signed all of the forms, and you didn’t say anything to us about keeping the baby. Now, let me go over these orders with you, so you can go home, and we can lock up for the day. It’s past quitting time, and I need to get home to my family.”

The patient looked at the woman incredulously, as the truth began to dawn on her. “That wasn’t a dream, was it?” she questioned. “You killed my baby girl, didn’t you?”

This time, the woman looked at her with a look of hatred and contempt, as she replied, “You’d better watch what you say,” she snapped, “or you could easily end up being just another statistic. Wouldn’t it be awful if something happened to you on the way home?”

The patient met her gaze with fear, feeling helpless as she lay there in the filth and squalor of that room, not responding as the woman continued, “Not that anyone would miss another one of you girls if you just disappeared. You and your kind are a dime a dozen. You fool around, get knocked up and then you want an abortion. It’s the same thing, day in and day out. I won’t be surprised to see you right back here in a couple of months, knocked up and wanting another abortion.”

The patient, whose name was Shimera, shook her head silently, as tears slid down her high, milk chocolate colored cheeks, which had a reddish hue, due to her upset and the fever that was setting in. “Now,” Charlotte, the middle-aged office worker stuck her face into Shimera’s. “Here’s a prescription for antibiotics. You’ll probably have some bleeding for about a week or so, and after that, it should begin to lighten up,” she said as she led the young woman to the door, taking her coat off the rack and handing it to her as she pushed her out the door. Grabbing Shimera’s arm, and digging her nails into it, Shimera looked up into Charlotte’s eyes, which were as cold as ice. “Remember, you were the one who wanted the abortion, and we have the forms you signed to prove it. No one is going to take the word of an ignorant young black girl over that of a kind and benevolent doctor and his staff.” With that, she gave her a shove, causing Shimera to stumble and fall to her knees at the bottom of the steps.

Slowly, painfully, in the frigid winter air, Shimera made her way down the street, glancing behind her periodically, to make sure she wasn’t being followed. Tears slid down her cheeks, as she made her way to her Aunt Tessa’s house. They had taken every penny she had out of her wallet, leaving her penniless. Aunt Tessa’s house wasn’t too much farther. A slow rage began to boil within her, as she stumbled along in the cold. Dr. Johnson and Charlotte had made a big mistake in judging her, for although Shimera was poor and black, she was not stupid, nor was she ignorant to the laws of the land.

Finally, shivering from the cold and the fever that blazed through her body, she made her way to Aunt Tessa’s house, and began pounding on the door, and shouting weakly, “Aunt Tessa,” she cried out weakly, please open up. After what seemed like an eternity, Aunt Tessa appeared at the door and opened it, as Shimera crumpled to the ground in a pool of blood.

To read the rest of this parable, please visit the Justice for Shimera page on this website.

Cleanse Me

This story is for the Picture it and Write! blogging challenge… 

What follows is a story very loosely based on the women that I’ve ministered to. The woman in this story is not based on any particular one, but rather on many.  Also, the “church woman” in this story is not me. She is only a reflection of the woman I would like to be. God doesn’t call Christians to stay within the four walls of a building they call “church.” Rather, He calls Christians to be the church, and to go and minister to people where they are… in the malls… on the streets… in the bars… in the crack houses… not in condemnation, but in love, sharing His love for the lost.

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Photo Courtesy of: Picture it & Write!

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10

I felt so dirty as I soaked in the tub. I laid there so long, the bubbles were all but gone. I had scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed… and no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get rid of the stench of having sex with all those men. “Oh God!” I whimpered as I slid down in the tub, placing my feet on the wall, in an attempt to hide my private parts that I no longer wanted to see… those parts that I had sold to four men last night for $80.

For some reason, my “career” left me feeling… filthy today. I was almost okay with it until that church woman had shown up. What was a church woman doing out on the streets, anyway? Didn’t she know how unsafe that was? But this lady was different from any church woman I’d ever met before.

When she drove up next to me, rolling her window down, asking how much I charged, I figured she was just into women. The woman agreed to pay the price, so I got into the car with her. It was a nice car, white with black leather seats. “Are you cold?” she asked, as I nodded. I was freezing because I wasn’t wearing much, in order to attract business. She turned the heat in the car up, and then she turned a seat warmer on. Oh man! This was luxury. “Are you hungry?” the woman asked.

I looked at her suspiciously. “I’m out here to earn a living, not spend my money on food,” I replied.

She laughed joyfully, and said, “If you’re hungry, it’s my treat, and don’t worry. I’ll pay for your time as well.” I looked at her closely, trying to figure her out. “Well?” she asked again. “Are you hungry?” I was about to answer her, when my stomach growled and answered for me.

“Great, we’ll have to go to Denny’s, because they’re the only restaurant open at this time of night,” she said cheerfully. I studied her as she drove us to Denny’s. She was different from most of my clients — I mean besides the fact that she’s a woman. Most of my clients are sort of dark and creepy, you know? But she seemed like she was full of light and really happy. She seemed like she should be in a home with a family, not on the streets late at night picking up hookers.

When we got to Denny’s, she requested a booth in the back. I walked behind her, observing her blue jeans, and a sparkly purple top that seemed to flow as she walked. She was really very small. She looked like a tiny angel with her top flowing as she walked.

After we placed our order, she leaned forward with her hand out and said, “My name’s Joy.” I shook her hand, shaking my head. Tricks normally like anonymity. “And you are?” her bluish gray eyes seemed to peer into my soul as she waited for my answer.

“I’m Julie,” I found myself answering. Now what’s up with that? I never shared my real name with my johns, but it just slipped out without me meaning to let it slip.

She smiled warmly at me and said, “Julie, I didn’t pick you up to have sex with you. I want to talk with you, then I’ll pay you when we’re done talking, okay?” I looked closely at her, not quite sure what was going down.

“Oookay,” I replied, looking at this little woman as though she was crazy.

My look didn’t seem to faze her in the least, as she continued, “The Lord says that He’s heard the cries of your heart, and He knows how desperate you are to get enough money to pay your rent and show that you can support your son, so you can get him back from the foster home he’s in.”

My jaw dropped and my heart started pounding. “Who told you that? And who are you really?” I blurted out fearfully.

“I told you, I’m Joy, and the Lord told me that He’s heard your cries, and He loves you and wants to help you, but you’ve been running from Him for years, Julie, when all He wants to do is help you.” She took a sip of her soda, as I sat there trying to digest what she was saying.

“What do you want?” My heart felt like it could jump right out of my chest it was beating so hard.

“Nothing,” she replied, “but God wants your heart. He said that if you will delight yourself in Him, He will give you the desires of your heart.” I stared at her dumbly.

“How old is your son?” she asked, and I found myself opening up and sharing that Troy was almost four, and that he was a special child. He has Downes Syndrome. She listened with tears in her eyes as I shared all of the trips we had made to the hospital when he was first born, because his little heart was so weak. I told her that I had been married to a lying, cheating loser.

She put her hand on top of mine, telling me how sorry she was for my pain, and I couldn’t help it… tears began to run down my face, and the next thing I knew, I was sobbing like my heart was breaking all over again, and you know what? I think it really was, only this time, I wasn’t by myself, and this woman seemed to care more about my pain than my own mother did.

I told her how my ex had gone into a rage the last night I saw him, when we argued about his other woman, and how Troy kept crying. I told her how Billy kept yelling and screaming so loud that the neighbors called the police. And then he slapped Troy’s mouth, causing him to cry even harder.

Then the police showed up, and when they saw that someone had hit Troy, it was Billy’s word against mine, and we were both arrested for child abuse. They took my baby away from me. I had no money, and no one who cared enough about me to bail me out, so I stayed in jail until the trial. Billy and I both were found guilty of child abuse, and I spent the next year in jail.

When I got out of jail, I had nothing. I had no home to go to, and no job, because no one wants to hire an ex-felon, especially one who’s been found guilty of child abuse… “So I became a working girl,” I finished, looking at her, stunned to see tears rolling down her cheeks. This woman who didn’t know me seemed to care more about me than my own family ever did.

“Julie,” she spoke softly through her tears. “I’d like to help you, if you’ll let me. My church has a home for women who have been through hard times. While they live there, we mentor them, teaching them how to care for themselves and their children. We help those who are interested get their GED, and if they’ve already completed high school, we help them get into the local community college so they can get a good job when they graduate. We also work hand in hand with social services, and many women who have lost their children to the foster care system, are able to reclaim them once they’ve been in our program for six months. Would you be interested?”

I broke down. I couldn’t believe her kindness. I couldn’t believe that God would love me enough to send this woman into my life. I accepted her offer, and I’m gonna drain this water and scrub myself once more. Then I’m gonna go downstairs to meet the rest of the women and children who live in this home. And in six months, I will bring my little Troy here.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Don’t Judge Me – Love Me

Judge Me

This is a post for the Picture it & Write Blogging Challenge at Ermiliablog!
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“What are you looking at?” she snarled, when she saw me staring at her. I couldn’t help it. She was just a little girl — she couldn’t have been more than eleven or twelve, but she was hard as nails. The bitterness and hatred that sparked in her eyes broke my heart. I knew her, all to well, and now, my challenge was to reach her before it was too late.

“Oh Lord,” I silently prayed, please don’t let it be too late for her. “Give me the wisdom I need to reach her, Father, before it is too late.”

“Well?” she brazenly demanded. “I asked you a question.”

I smiled at her, and answered her question. “You know very well what I’m looking at, or should I say who I’m looking at? I’m looking at you. Are you Candi?”

Giving me a hard look, she took a deep, exaggerated drag from her cigarette, then slowly exhaled the smoke from her nostrils before she answered me, “Who wants to know?” she replied, as she flicked some ashes on the ground.

I couldn’t help myself. I burst into laughter as I walked up to her and took the cigarette out of her hand, dropping it to the ground and stamping it out. “I’m Jenny,” I replied as she gave me a dirty look. “Don’t you know those things are bad for you?”

“Who cares? Why did you do that? Those things are expensive, you know!” Fire was flashing from her blue eyes, and if looks could kill, I wouldn’t be here now.

“I care,” I replied, looking her right in the eye. “That’s why I’m here. We need to talk.” The other children, presumably her brother and sister were staring at us with eyes as wide as saucers. 

“Why should I talk to you? I don’t even know you,” she replied angrily, crossing her arms in front of her chest and stomping her foot on the dirt road. Her unkempt blonde hair flashed in the sunlight, as she shook her head at me.

I bent over, until I was eye to eye with her, and I told her why she should talk to me. “You need to talk to me, because I’m here to help you. You need to talk to me, because you want to protect your brother and sister, but you can’t do it alone. You need to talk to me, because I’m probably the only one who doesn’t think you’re just a brat. You need to talk to me, because I care about you and your brother and sister, and I want to help you.”

As I was speaking to her, I saw fear flash across her face briefly, before she quickly hid it behind that hard, cold mask she was wearing. “Why do you want to help me?” Candi asked, looking me up and down. Not for the first time, I wished that my job didn’t require me to dress as a professional, in my navy blue pant suit, with a white shell, and a pair of bright red shoes. My auburn hair was tied back from my face with a red scarf, which completed the outfit. It would have made my job as a social worker so much easier, if I could have worn my faded jeans and a tank top, so that children like Candi could relate to me better.

“Candi,” I responded, “I want to help you, because just a few years ago, I was a lot like you.” She eyed me in disbelief, as I continued. “Look, kid, don’t let these fancy clothes fool you. I didn’t always have nice clothes. I didn’t always have a home either, and when I did have that home, I wished I didn’t have to live there. Living on the streets was better than living with my mom and all of her boyfriends, ya’ know?”

I could see her guard beginning to drop a little, and after instructing her brother and sister to go ahead and continue playing without her, she followed me over to my car, and joined me as I sat on the hood. “So what do you want to know?” she whispered as we sat side by side.

Turning so that I could see her face, I softly replied, “I need to know everything. Listen, I don’t want to hurt you or get you in any trouble. I just want to help. I need to help you. Do you want to know why I studied to be a social worker, Candi?” Her big blue eyes focused on mine as she nodded, and I continued, “I wanted to be a social worker so that I could rescue girls and boys like you, girls and boys who were like me when I was your age.”

Candi nodded, and gulping, she asked, “Did your dad ever –?” She looked away, struggling to get the words out, but terrified of what might happen if she spoke them out loud. 

Taking her hand in mine, I lifted Candi’s chin up so that she could see my face, as I nodded yes to her question. I didn’t try to force her to speak, because I knew that she was almost ready, and if I tried to push her or rush her, she might never speak those words out loud. “Do you have a brother or sister?” she asked me.

I nodded, and replied, “I have a little sister, like you do.”

“Did your dad ever… ever… did he ever do that to your sister?” a lone tear slid down her cheek.

“I don’t know for sure. I only know that I tried to protect her, but we never talked about it, ya’ know?” She nodded her head.

“I think my dad is… is… I think he’s going to hurt Reba if I don’t stop him.” She looked earnestly into my face, as the tears began to flow freely, leaving a dirty wet trail down her cheeks. I took my scarf off and handed it to her so she could dry her tears and blow her nose. I never think to bring tissues with me, but the scarf could be replaced. My heart ached to see her pain, but I knew that I couldn’t hold her yet. She wasn’t ready to be held yet. 

“Can you help us?” she whispered softly.

“I can,” I answered with all seriousness, “but you have to tell me everything.” Haltingly, over the next forty-five minutes, Candi shared the torment that she had endured at the hands of her father. Such things should never be.

After she shared her story with me, I explained that the police would be here shortly, and she and her brother and sister would be removed from their home, and placed in foster care. I told her that I would do my best to keep them all together, but there would be no guarantees. Then, we called her brother and sister to come to us, so that we could prepare them for the change that was about to occur in their lives.

Throughout the entire process, I couldn’t help but admire this woman-child. She was old beyond her years, comforting and caring for her brother and sister, as though she was their mother. I felt confident that given the right environment and the right set of circumstances, this young woman would not only survive her tumultuous childhood, she would thrive and overcome the pain of her past. 

“Lord,” I silently prayed, as the police arrived, and I loaded the children into my car, “watch over these beautiful children, and give them the chance that they deserve. Set them free, Father from the pain and the sorrow that has been inflicted on them. In Jesus’ name, let them know peace.”

I chose the foster family to care for these children. I knew them personally, and they were good, caring people… the people who had once cared for me not so long ago, and raised me as though I was their own child.

Do you see that little girl in the picture? Don’t judge her — love her!

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Swift Blogging Challenge: Look into Your Eyes

Swift Blogging Challenge: Look into Your Eyes

Look at yourself in the mirror. Make sure the mirror is big enough for you see your whole face, and do this in broad daylight. Look yourself straight in the eye and don’t flinch. Say out loud (don’t look away) “I am a good person. I am a good person. I am a good person.”

Write about the experience. Was it easy? Did you struggle? Could you do it? If not, why not? If you did, how did you react? Serious? Laughing? Sad? Did you tell yourself, this is silly? If so, why do you think you said that?

Write it all down, and share!

This exercise brought back memories to me… memories of another time when I stood in front of the same exact mirror, uttering words very similar to these. What a difference fifteen years can make… What a difference God‘s healing grace makes.

Mirror mirror...
Mirror mirror… (Photo credit: antkriz)

Fifteen years ago, when I stood in front of the same mirror, telling the person who stared back at me that I am a child of the Most High God, and that I am worthy of His love, I struggled to look at the woman staring back at me from the mirror. I was instructed to look beyond the woman that I was then, and look back to the little girl locked inside of me, and tell her that she is worthy of love, and that loved her… I was told to retrieve pictures of the little girl that I once was, and to talk to her and show her the mercy that I showed other little girls.

Unless one has struggled with self-hatred and low self-esteem, you can never fully grasp how difficult this assignment was. I remember looking into the eyes of the little girl that I once was, as though I was the third person, looking into the eyes of someone who was not me, and talking to her. I remember the hatred and contempt I felt as I looked at the pictures of this child with my counselor.

When my counselor mentioned the pain and the innocence that was stolen from this child, I remember snarling back, again, as though the little girl in the picture was someone other than myself, “She was never innocent!” You see, I blamed the little girl I once was for all of the sins that had been committed against me. I blamed myself for the beatings I received. I blamed myself for the rejection by my parents, my teachers and my classmates. I blamed myself for causing my dad to molest me, because I had never been innocent.

eye
eye (Photo credit: Ricky Justus)

I could not bring myself to believe that this little girl was ever good, ever innocent, ever worthy of love, and I could not bring myself to believe that I, as an adult was good and worthy of love. And then, I remember visiting my counselor one evening, as we again spread my school pictures before me, and my counselor covered all but my eyes in each picture. As I looked at the eyes, who could have been anyone’s eyes, I could see pain in each of the eyes, but that pain was mingled with hope… except for one picture.

As I looked deep into these eyes, I saw death. It was clear that this picture was taken after I was molested by my daddy. In the eyes of this picture, I saw that all hope had died. Gone were this little girl’s hopes and dreams that had prevailed throughout all those other years despite the beatings and despite the many rejections and ridicule. In all that this little girl (I) had suffered up to this point, I had always retained some hope for the future, but after the final betrayal from my daddy (I had always thought of my stepfather as my daddy), and my mother’s refusal to protect me (“Because,” I thought, “I wasn’t worthy of anyone’s love”), my hope had died, as evident in my eyes.

“Cheryl,” my counselor wisely said, “look at those eyes. They could be the eyes of your daughter,” and she was right! My daughter very closely resembles me. “What would you say to that little girl, if she was your daughter? Would you blame her?”

augenblick
augenblick (Photo credit: westpark)

Suddenly, it was as though a dam burst, and with that bursting of the dam, all of those years of bitterness and anger I had directed at myself washed away, as I saw that poor hurt little girl, who tried so hard to earn everyone’s love, but always fell so far short. My heart broke for the little girl I once was, a little girl who had once been innocent. I felt a rush of love for Little Me, who longed so desperately for love, and yet I wasn’t even able to love myself.

Now, fifteen years later, as I look into the mirror, I do see a good person. I see a woman who may not be beautiful in the world’s eyes, but in the eyes of God, and in the eyes of those who love her, she is truly beautiful, from the inside out. I see a woman who loves deeply, and who is deeply loved. I see a woman who has overcome many obstacles in life, by the grace of God and by His mercy and love. I see a woman who has been called by God to share the hope that I have found with others, so that they too will see how much God values each person, and so others will know that if God loved me enough to set me free from the pain of my past, He can surely do the same for them, if they will allow Him to do so.

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Dear Mom

Write a letter to your mom. Tell her something you’ve always wanted to say, but haven’t been able to. 
Daily Prompt: Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

A birthday cake
A birthday cake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s interesting how the Lord works. Today, the day before your birthday, the daily prompt is to write a letter to you and tell you something that I’ve always wanted to say, but haven’t been able to. And now, when I could say something to you about this, I find that I can’t, because I don’t think you would understand, and I don’t want to cause you anymore hurt or confusion than you already have to deal with. Therefore, I’ll write this letter to the woman you used to be, the younger you, who would be able to comprehend what I’m saying.

I love you Mom, and I want to tell you that I finally understand. I couldn’t have told you this years ago, because I didn’t understand then. I was so ravaged with my own pain that I was unable to understand why you abused me, and why you allowed Dad to abuse me as he did. I always wanted to ask you, “Why?” and, “How could you?”

I remember when I confronted you and Dad about the abuse and told you how deeply it hurt me, I didn’t ask why, because for some reason, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. And the truth is, I don’t think you could have told me why, because I don’t think you understood it yourself. But Mom, I get it now. I understand why, and I understand how you could have done it and allowed it, and I wish I could share it with you so that you could understand yourself, and forgive yourself.

You grew up in such a painful dysfunctional family, and you tried so hard to always say the right thing and do the right thing, and I understand how horrible it is when you have so much self-disgust. I understand what it’s like to think you’re not quite good enough, and to try and hide behind a mask of self-confidence, because you’re so fearful that if anyone discovered the truth about how you really feel, and what you really think, they would hate you as much as you hate yourself, and that could destroy you. Mom, I wish that you knew that I understand because I used to have those same feelings, and they’re wrong.

You never had to bury and hide the real you because God loved you anyway, and I would have loved you no matter what. In fact, I did and I do love you in spite of the years of abuse. I loved you despite the fact that you allowed Dad to continue abusing me, because you couldn’t handle the truth.

I understand so much Mom, because I inherited some of your coping mechanisms. It’s easier for me to ignore the unpleasant things in life, rather than facing them until I have no choice. It’s easier for me to wear my happy mask than to be open and let others see what I’m really feeling. It’s easier for me to be “strong” and numb, hiding my feelings even from myself, rather than acknowledging and allowing myself to feel pain, sadness and sorrow, and anger. But the problem with living like this is that it’s all to easy for our whole lives to become a lie, and when we refuse to feel, our hearts become hardened, and then it becomes all to easy for us to begin hurting others… Hurting people hurt people.

Mom, I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit who lives in me, because I could have very easily turned into a hardened, embittered woman, who is unable to love her family and those outside of her family, because she has no love or mercy for herself. Mom, I wish you could see yourself as God sees you. You are a beautiful woman, who has suffered much, and that suffering could have been used for good, if you had allowed it.

Even now, that you’re in the nursing home, I think that if you would allow Jesus to heal your broken places, He would give you peace, and empathy for others. My prayer for you, Mom, is that you would know Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, and that you would allow Him to be Lord of your life, so that He could begin the good work of healing you from all of the years of pain that you’ve held bound in your broken  heart. I pray that you would know, as all of God’s people should know, the length and the width, the great heights and the depths of God’s love for you. And I pray that you would love yourself as God loves you. I pray that you would know real peace and real joy, both here and now, and in the next life.

This is what I would express to you if you could understand. I love you Mom, and I pray that you have a wonderful, blessed birthday.

Love always,
Cheryl

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

Swift Blogging Challenge: This is Me

Swift Blogging Challenge: This is Me

For this challenge, readers are invited to imagine that they are going to write their life story, and then go ahead and write the first paragraph. It may be written in 1st person or 3rd person.

After twenty-two grueling, intense hours, of unimaginable pain and suffering, which finally reached its climax when the doctor roughly inserted the cold hard forceps and literally ripped the me from my mother’s womb, I made my triumphant entry into the world. It was 1961, and things were done much differently then, than they are now. For example, there were no other family members in the delivery room as there are today. Although, truth be told, my father was nowhere to be found, so my mother was alone throughout the entire labor and delivery anyway. It seems that while my mother suffered all alone, he was out drinking and partying. Fearful for my life, because she’d lost her first baby only a year ago in the midst of labor, she tearfully said to the doctor, “Something’s wrong with her! I don’t hear her crying,” to which the doctor responded by holding me upside down by my ankles and administering my first of many spankings. To hear my mother tell the story, I let out a loud wail, and never stopped crying until they stuck a pacifier in my mouth.